Global Affairs Canada urges Canadians not to travel to Ukraine in the midst of war.
The funeral took place at the Ukrainian Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Montreal.
The mother of a Quebec man who died fighting Russian forces in Ukraine says her son's “courage and big heart” made him a hero.
The funeral of & #x27;Émile-Antoine Roy-Sirois were celebrated on Friday at the Ukrainian Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Montreal.
Marie-France Sirois said that her son had died in the company of three other foreign soldiers during a bombardment in the Dombass region on July 18.
They died as heroes, each supporting the other until the end and sharing the same convictions, she launched to the gathered crowd. The will to defend women and children, and to speak out against injustice was part of my son's DNA. I'm not the first to say this.
Ms. Sirois described her 31-year-old son as generous, kind and funny. Fight in Ukraine? It felt like a call he couldn't ignore. According to her, Émile-Antoine was similar to a philosopher-knight.
“Émile wanted to make a difference and I believe that he succeeded. His courage and big heart made him a hero, but what comforts me the most is knowing that he was happy when he died, to have acted up to his convictions.
— Marie-France Sirois, mother of the deceased
Marie-France Sirois (left) at the funeral of her son Émile-Antoine Roy- Sirois, in Montreal
A silver urn and a soldier's helmet bearing the first name “Émile” had been placed on a table placed in front of the faithful. Two photographs of the deceased, surrounded by sunflowers, had also been installed there.
The crowd gathered in the church applauded the young man. Many in attendance wore traditional Ukrainian clothing, while others brought Quebec, Canadian or Ukrainian flags.
Eugene Czolij, Ukraine's honorary consul in Montreal, said Mr. Roy-Sirois died a hero trying to rescue an injured comrade.
Know that heroes like your son Émile-Antoine never die, because their memory is eternal, he told the soldier's mother and other members of his family.
19-year-old Arsenii Pivtorak said before the funeral that he had not known Mr. Roy-Sirois during his lifetime, but that he wanted to attend the ceremony for the thank you for standing up for Ukraine.
To see a foreigner with no connection to Ukraine sacrificing his life for my people, for freedom, then it's the least we can do to be here, he said. explained.
Mr. Czolij says other Canadians are in Ukraine fighting Russian troops, but he does not know the exact number.
Global Affairs Canada cannot say how many Canadians are dead or injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict, but the ministry urges citizens not to go there.
You run a great risk if you go to Ukraine, especially for s& #x27;engage in combat. Our ability to provide consular services is severely limited, wrote Global Affairs Canada in an email to The Canadian Press.
Global Affairs Canada also urges Canadians in Ukraine to leave the country if they can do so safely, or if not, take cover.
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